Tuesday, it is fantastic:
Four years, two teams and a championship later, Shaquille O'Neal is still ripping Kobe Bryant.
Video on TMZ.com shows the Phoenix Suns center doing a freestyle rap in a nightclub on Sunday night in which he puts down his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate.
"You know how I be," Shaq rapped. "Last week Kobe couldn't do without me."
Bryant led the Lakers to the NBA Finals this season, but they were beaten 4-2 by the Boston Celtics.
O'Neal and Bryant last played together during the 2003-04 season, when the duo led the Lakers to the Finals. They lost to the Pistons that season, and soon after O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat, breaking up a duo that won three titles.
O'Neal went on to win a championship with the Heat in 2006. During his rap, O'Neal, who was traded to the Suns last year, said that he is "the difference between first and last place."
He also implored the crowd to sing along to his oft-repeated chorus: "Kobe [expletive], tell me how my [expletive] tastes."
Smiling and laughing often, O'Neal also sang that Bryant broke up his marriage.
"I'm a horse. Kobe ratted me out," he rapped. "That's why I'm getting divorced. He said Shaq gave a [woman] a mil. I don't do that 'cause my name's Shaquille. I love 'em, I don't leave 'em. I got a vasectomy, now I can't breed 'em."
In 2004, Bryant, while embroiled in a rape investigation, alleged that O'Neal paid up to $1 million in hush money to various women. O'Neal told ESPN then: "This whole situation is ridiculous."
After repeating the chorus a number of times on Sunday night, O'Neal ended his rap by singing, " Kobe, you can't do without me" over and over.
Reached by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on Monday, O'Neal issued the following statement: "I was freestyling. That's all. It was all done in fun. Nothing serious whatsoever. That is what MC's do. They freestyle when called upon. I'm totally cool with Kobe. No issue at all. And by the way, don't forget, six albums, two platinum, two gold. Anybody who knows me knows I'm a funny freestyler. Check the NBA DVD when I was rapping about Vlade Divac during my first championship run. Please tell everybody don't make something out of nothing."
In other non-story news, Imus says something stupid, denies it, and now Pac Man is mad …
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones took exception to racial comments made about him by radio personality Don Imus on Monday.
During a morning segment on his WABC radio show in New York, Imus was listening to a report from anchor Warner Wolf about Jones dropping his nickname, "Pacman."
Wolf mentioned that Jones was arrested six times since he was drafted in 2005.
Imus then asked, "What color is he?"
"He's African-American," Wolf said.
"Well, there you go," Imus said. "Now we know."
Jones was unaware of the comments until a reporter played him a tape Monday night.
"I'm truly upset about the comments," Jones said. "Obviously Mr. Imus has problems with African-Americans. I'm upset, and I hope the station he works for handles it accordingly. I will pray for him."
Imus said through a spokesperson that he was misunderstood.
"I meant that he was being picked on because he's black," Imus said in the statement.
Imus was fired last year by MSNBC and CBS Radio for racial comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team.
David Moore tries to get you fired up for the draft …
Maybe you're not into the NBA draft.
Maybe you're the sort of fan who has no idea whether Derrick Rose or Kansas State's Michael Beasley should be taken with the first pick. Talking about athletes you have never seen play and whose names you can't pronounce – Serge Ibaka, Alexis Ajinca or Ante Tomic – doesn't grab you.
But what if a few other names are introduced to the conversation, such as Denver's Carmelo Anthony or Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal? What about Sacramento's Ron Artest, Toronto's T.J. Ford, Memphis' Mike Miller, Phoenix's Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa or Detroit's Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince? Is your interest piqued now?
The draft does more than refresh the league's talent pool. It's the excuse every team uses to float trial balloons and spark trade discussions. It allows general managers to assess the market value for their players and lays the groundwork for trades that may not take place for months.
Think of the biggest trades that have taken place in the last year. Kevin Garnett to Boston. Jason Kidd to Dallas. Pau Gasol to LA. Shaquille O'Neal and Shawn Marion trading places. All of these players, with the exception of O'Neal, were the focus of intense speculation in the days leading up to last year's draft.
And consider the draft itself. Seattle's Kevin Durant deservedly won the Rookie of the Year award at the end of this season. But did he have a better season than Ray Allen in Boston or Jason Richardson in Charlotte? Those were two of several veteran players traded on draft night.
There will be more this year. The names of Diaw, Ford and Miller are coming up too much among general managers in the last few days for something not to happen. Artest is something of a wild card. Big shock there.
Jermaine O'Neal will be gone the moment the Pacers make a team comfortable with his injury history and salary. Detroit may not do anything by Thursday's draft, but the information it gathers over the next few days will facilitate a deal before the season starts. Anthony will stay put.
Sports Illustrated’s Mavericks Capsule …
Key free agents: Devean George (U).
Needs: Low-post presence who plays defense and rebounds; point guard who can run the team when Jason Kidd sits.
Outlook: As if getting bounced in the first round for the second straight year wasn't a bad enough return on the Kidd trade, the Mavs also gave away part of their future in shipping Devin Harris to New Jersey, as well as two first-round draft picks. Mark Cuban will have to be at his boldest if he hopes to revive the flagging fortunes of a team whose title window is a lot more narrow than it was only two years ago.
Josh Talks to JJT …
People's first reaction is that I just got high all day every day," Howard said Monday afternoon.
"I got on a radio station back home and talked about it. I've got nothing to hide. I ain't scared. There's been no backlash."
That's not really the point.
Howard, who said he'll address his comments, also needs to explain to each of the camp's 137 kids why they should refrain from using marijuana, any other illegal drug, and avoid underage drinking.
And then says more to the Star Telegram …
I didn’t bring [the marijuana topic] up [on the radio]. That wasn’t even my decision. I know I’ve got to take the blame for it, but, at the end of the day, I wasn’t the one who called in, I didn’t set up the interview. At the end of the day, everything was put on me. I don’t know. If I knew, I could tell you. I called David Stern the next day and talked to him and All this is doing is making me a better person, which it ... apologized. has.
People are going to have their opinions. At the end of the day, they aren’t at practice with us, they don’t go on the road with us, they don’t have meetings with us, they don’t know. Let them talk.
Chad Ford sees top 5 chaos …
It's looking clearer and clearer that the Bulls will be taking Derrick Rose with the No. 1 pick, so much of the attention in the draft is turning to the Miami Heat, who are slated to select second.
Michael Beasley is the obvious choice at No. 2, but the Heat's words and actions behind the scenes continue to point to a possible trade if Rose goes No. 1.
Sources said Heat president Pat Riley made a number of phone calls on Monday trying to gauge what was available to the Heat at No. 2 after finding out that Shawn Marion will not opt out of his contract.
One source told Insider that the Heat are revisiting trade talks with the Grizzlies. Insider reported several weeks ago that there was talk that Memphis would give up Mike Miller, Kyle Lowry and the No. 5 pick as part of a package for the No. 2 pick.
The same source said the Heat are asking the Grizzlies to sweeten the deal by substituting Mike Conley for Lowry. The deal would be Conley and the No. 5 pick to Miami for the No. 2 pick and Daequan Cook.
That trade would land Riley the point guard he covets and still get him a high lottery pick in the draft. The Heat would likely choose between Kevin Love or Brook Lopez at No. 5.
While the price is high for the Grizzlies, they have great depth at the point guard position and could afford to lose Conley. Memphis' biggest need is at the power forward position, and Beasley appears to be a once-in-a-decade talent at the 4 -- a perfect fit for a young and upcoming Memphis team.
The Heat are also talking to the Timberwolves, Sonics and Clippers. The problem is the Wolves don't have much to offer. The Sonics can offer Chris Wilcox and the No. 4 for a deal that brings them the No. 2 and Mark Blount. That could save the Heat cap space. But it may not be enough.
The Clippers have a player that Riley covets deeply in Elton Brand. A deal that swaps Brand and the No. 7 pick for Marion and the No. 2 pick could be another alternative for Riley if he isn't comfortable with Beasley.
On to hockey, Andrew’s looks at the Stars draft …by the way, Andrew’s no longer requires subscriptions….
Overall, pretty average draft for the Stars. They had only five picks ranging from 59 to 209. That's not a lot to work with as far as just making picks. Moving up into the first round on Friday or higher in the second round on Saturday would have probably required a roster player, and I am not sure I buy giving up a guy now for someone who is a few years away.
So the Stars took a bunch of guys who are probably several years away. A couple of them are going into college. The defenseman Philip Larsen, who is from Denmark and playing in Sweden, will likely be able to develop over in Sweden. Time will tell on how the European picks will be handled without a transfer agreement.
I like the Tyler Beskorowany pick. He's a project, but the Stars obviously see some potential. As I said in an earlier post they have had pretty good luck with goalies. Dan Ellis and Mike Smith are recent successes. Marty Turco is from a draft way back when.
Time will tell on all these guys. The argument is that Fabian Brunnstrom is this year's first round pick. I don't really buy that argument. They are bringing him in for now. The draft, at least for a team like the Stars, is about building for the future. I don't know if this draft group will pay off in the future. I don't know if Brunnstrom will pay off in the now. Time will tell on all of it.
Stars Payroll …
James Mirlte looks at great The Coyotes big deal …
Florida traded C Olli Jokinen to Phoenix for D Keith Ballard, D Nick Boynton and Ottawa's second-round pick in the 2008 draft (49th overall, previously acquired).
Finally, finally, poor Olli can stop hearing the rumours. Jokinen's played for more bad teams than almost any player in NHL history, but the Coyotes are in a bit of a turnaround and he could be a big part of that revival.
He's scored 173 goals over the past five NHL seasons, missing just one game, and is signed at a reasonable $5.25-million cap hit through 2010. Only six players have managed more goals since 2002-03: Ilya Kovalchuk, Jarome Iginla, Dany Heatley, Marian Hossa, Vincent Lecavalier and Jaromir Jagr.
Phoenix desperately needed a big body down the middle, someone to play with Doan and some of the young talent like Peter Mueller and Kyle Turris. They're obviously quite thin on defence without Ballard and Boynton, but I imagine that's a shortcoming about to be shored up via free agency, and with a full season with Ilya Bryzgalov in goal, they'll be better than this past season.
The Rangers run Eric Hurley out there tonight in Houston, But are they bidding on a 16 year old pitcher? …
The Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds have joined the Oakland Athletics in a bidding feud for the services of Dominican pitching prospect Michael Inoa, the crown jewel of the pool of Latin American players who will be available to be signed July 2, a source has told ESPNdeportes.com.
"Oakland has led the pack of teams interested in Inoa, but both Cincinnati and Texas have surged in the past few days, and it is now a three-horse race of big favorites to grab this kid," the source said.
"Some teams have offered him a major league contract in order to make the offer even more attractive, but Inoa's team is not interested in that. The battle may be fought until the last minutes," the source added.
July 2 marks the beginning of the eligibility period for players who turn 17 years old after Sept. 6, though they won't be able to play until next year. Players 17 or older may sign anytime.
Inoa, 16, at 6 feet 7 and 210 pounds, is a right-hander with a repertoire consisting of a 93-mph fastball, a changeup and a curveball.
The young prospect has been evaluated by every major league organization. General manager Billy Beane and a group of Oakland executives even traveled to Dominican Republic to evaluate Inoa.
According to data obtained by ESPNdeportes.com, at least seven teams were ready to give Inoa a bonus of more than $3 million, but many of them, including the New York Yankees, pulled out of the race as the price for the young ace went up.
Poor Commercial for LA Kings?
Purse Fight in Formula 1 from many years ago